Woman accused of driving drunk onto frozen canal, breaking through ice

Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 4:56 AM CST
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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A woman was arrested after police say, while intoxicated, she drove onto an Indianapolis canal and broke through the ice, plunging into frigid waters.

Biankia Gleason, 33, told firefighters her GPS took her down to the canal near the Colts Canal Playspace in downtown Indianapolis while she was driving around 11 p.m. on Christmas. Investigators say she drove onto the canal and broke through the ice.

Mason Brauchla, who lives in a building that overlooks the canal, captured video of the incident.

“She was probably going 30 miles an hour at least, and she was driving in a straight line down the right side of the road – or the ice, at that point,” he said.

After Gleason’s car broke through the ice, nearby people helped her escape from the frigid water, and she was taken to the hospital.

Police later arrested Gleason for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Brauchla says this is not the first time a car has been near the canal, but before this incident, cars have stayed on the sidewalk.

“It was surprising, but it wasn’t unbelievable. But then, I realized it was definitely on the ice and not on the sidewalk, and I was just completely shocked,” he said.

He adds the frequency of cars down by the canal is a pedestrian safety concern.

“There’s some grass hills that you could take it down straight to the sidewalk, so putting some kind of barrier there would definitely be a great step,” he said.

A police representative says it goes without saying, but driving on the canal is not appropriate, even when it freezes.

Gleason has previously been found guilty of driving while never having a license twice and driving with a suspended license once.